Cable ship Leon Thevenin departed Cape Town Harbour on Wednesday evening (22 January 2020) and will sail to offshore Angola where the first steps of the physical repair on damaged undersea cables – South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT3/WASC) and the West African Cable System (WACS) – will commence.
Following delays caused by weather conditions last weekend, loading of the vessel with all gear and material required for the undersea cable repairs was completed by Wednesday afternoon.
The Leon Thevenin then set sail from South African shores with chief of mission Didier Mainguy and 53 other crew members on board. A senior representative from the WACS and SAT3 consortium forms part of the ship’s crew.
Weather conditions permitting, it is anticipated that the vessel will reach its first repair site on the evening of 28 January 2020.
The vessel has been dispatched from the Cape Town Harbour, by the maintenance and operations sub-committees of the SAT3/WASC and WACS consortia due to a simultaneous dual cable break that occurred in the early hours of last Thursday (16 January 2020).
The breaks have resulted in South African internet users, whose ISPs are connected to international connectivity on both or either of these cable systems, experiencing reduced speed on international browsing and in some cases increased latency.
There is also an impact on international voice calling and mobile roaming.